Today's Labour News

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sapsPretoria News reports on the case of a former station commander at the Germiston police station who instituted a damages claim against the police force and a fellow officer after he was bad-mouthed in a document issued to his superiors.  

In the document, it was claimed that he, among others, often used mess money to buy cases of Johnnie Walker whisky for his own use.  It was also claimed that he used mess money to buy tyres for his vehicle and that he had an improper relationship with a constable.  Brigadier Jeshop Shabangu said the affidavit in which these “grievances” were set out and sent to his bosses was defamatory and injured his feelings.  Shabangu, a deputy cluster commander in the SAPS, said he was a police officer of high standing and the allegations against him had hurt him and his career.  He pointed out that he had been made out to be a corrupt and dishonest thief who had abused his powers and who was not worthy of the rank he held.  He moreover felt aggrieved that the fellow officer refused to withdraw the statement and apologise to him.  The police accepted liability and agreed that the allegations were defamatory.  However, Pretoria High Court Judge Natvarlal Ranchod was of the view that the R2m damages claimed by Shabangu was somewhat inflated, although the latter did later reduce the amount to R500,000.  The judge indicated that R50,000 in damages was fair compensation.  

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